Public and private interests in finance and business law

This programme focuses on financial, business and tax law, specifically in collaboration with lawyers and financial service providers based at the Amsterdam Zuidas business hub. The aim is to achieve cross-fertilization between the university’s theoretical insights and the experience and needs of professional practice. The programme ties in closely with the Master’s in Business Law at the Zuidas, which is also provided in collaboration with these parties. The programme’s researchers have backgrounds in international private law, tax law, company law, pension law, intellectual property law, the law of property and the history of law.

The programme is based on the idea that law seeks to promote economic and societal activity, innovation and the effective enjoyment of fundamental rights. Issues are considered from the perspective of a diverse range of stakeholder interests. These may be employee, creditor, shareholder or investor interests, but also public interests such as efforts to stimulate the economy, to create a favourable climate for business investments, to promote confidence in the proper functioning of financial markets and to ensure compliance with ethical standards. The research focuses particularly on complex, but specific legal dilemmas directly linked to practice. It is therefore clearly of interest not only to the business sector, but also to parties such as legislators and many government bodies, as well as the judiciary and professional practitioners. 

A good example is the research into the changing role of supervisory and regulatory authorities in the financial sector. The Icesave dispute, the state’s intervention in various banks and, more generally, the financial crisis have all created great concern in society. Various bodies at national and international level have sought to establish the causes of the crisis and have suggested various ways of preventing – or at least ensuring that parties are better able to withstand – possible crises in the future. These discussions have produced various legislative initiatives aimed at equipping banks and financial institutions to deal with any new financial crisis more effectively. Our research is examining how these initiatives may affect the way financial institutions operate, as well as the relationship between the proposed instruments and the role of supervisory and regulatory authorities on the one hand and company law on the other.

Programme director: prof. mr. J.L. (Lodewijk) Smeehuijzen 

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